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The Witches Seed


The Opera was born from an idea of Maddalena Calderoni, and is the result of the collaboration and creativity of great artists:

Music is by Stewart Copeland. Founder of The Police, a career with over 60 million records sold and 5 Grammy Awards, Stewart has composed scores for films such as Oliver Stone’s Wall Street and Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish.

The libretto is the work of award-winning British playwright Jonathan Moore, author of many plays for theater, film and the BBC including the famous “Treatment” with Gabriel Byrne.

The singer-songwriter Chrissie Hynde, leader of the famous group The Pretenders, is the author of some of the songs featured in the opera interpreted by an extraordinary Irene Grandi.

The direction is entrusted to Manfred Schweigkofler, a character capable of crossing and interpreting the most diverse artistic languages ​​thanks to a unique creativity and innovative approach.

The video sets are created by Edvige Faini, an internationally renowned concept artist who has been collaborating for years with the most prestigious Hollywood production studios and with the most renowned game houses in the world.

Irish conductor Eimear Noone was the first woman in history to be on the podium of the orchestra at the 92nd Academy Awards. Eimear is also the composer of some video game soundtracks such as World of Warcraft, amongst the best-selling in the world.

The Witches Seed is a contemporary Opera with immersive scenography, inspired by the history documented in the procedural documents of the bloodiest Inquisition, and by the fascinating legends of the mountain cultures of central Europe. It uses the most innovative digital technologies, capable of immersing the viewer in a gloomy show.

In a time of economic, social, political and spiritual crisis due to the spread of the plague and new faiths and heresies, four women take us on a journey through witches, persecutions and diabolical plans.

An experience in which bodies and senses will be transported over time and along the entire Alpine arc. Magic, storms and lightning, diabolical transformations of men into animals, preparation of medicines and ointments, great orgiastic sabbaths, are the powerful tools that witches and sorcerers use against the beliefs, knowledge and rites that religious authorities have been imposing for centuries.

Instruments not powerful enough, however, to save women and men from atrocious torture, from the stake or from the gallows, which some historians have estimated in the millions in Europe alone.

Through Inquisitor Buelli’s eyes we see his vision of the rampant evil that these women embody as they whip the villagers into orgiastic frenzy. Bishop Bascapé sees none of this. To him they are just three ordinary, if conspicuously influential women in the village. Their strength, wisdom and relative wealth make them a threat to the established order of medieval power.

It is a story continuously on the edge, that plays Rashomon-like between reality and distorted visions; between characters of history and others of fevered hallucinations.

The protagonists Isabetta, Nele, and Manzinetta have powerful tools at their disposal but will they be enough to save their lives? We know that over the centuries millions of women in Europe suffered atrocious torture and ended up at the stake or the gallows, how will the story end?

Characters and cast

  • Isabetta IRENE GRANDI
  • Manzinetta MADDALENA CALDERONI mezzosoprano
  • Teresa VALENTINA VERSINO danzatrice
  • Inquisitore Buelli ETTORE AGATI controtenore
  • Vescovo Bascapè GABRIELE NANI baritono
  • Pastore Vittorio GRAZIANO DALLAVALLE basso
  • Pastore Ludo ANDREA GALLI tenore
  • Pastore Claudio MATTIA ROSSI baritono
  • Sergente Giovanni GIUSEPPE RAIMONDI tenore
  • Guardia Polidori DAVIDE PROCACCINI basso